Saturday, 7 December 2019

body thetan

Roughly a decade after Keith Richards somnambulistically developed the tune and Mick Jagger writing the lyrics at the poolside created the song “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” while staying at the Clearwater, Florida resort, the Fort Harrison Hotel had fallen into disrepair and the operators had gone bankrupt, and the property was purchased by the Church of Scientology. 
The building was  converted into a spiritual centre with lodgings for visiting practitioners and in some cases controversially as a rehabilitation and re-programming facility for its more deviant members and for those who would stray from the flock.  This day on the church’s calendar of holidays is celebrated as the opening of the church’s headquarters compound in 1975. Another important holiday falls at the end of the month, 30 December as Freedom Day when in 1974 the US government accorded the organization tax-exempt status as a religious institution.

le projet ozma

Among the first official accolades that the crew of the Apollo 11 Mission were awarded outside of the ticker-tape parades and immediate fame was the astronomical portion of the Prix Guzman—on this day in 1969, an honorarium provided for by the estate of Marc Guzman and established in the will of his widow Anne Emilie Clara Goget in 1891. Arguably the astronauts won by dint of a technicality—the one-thousand-franc prize to be given to a person or group that succeeded in communicating with another celestial body, which the Eagle did with Mission Control in Houston.
Interest accumulated in the meantime and that premium was awarded every five years or so to an individual who had made significant contributions to space exploration, as adjudged by the Académie des sciences of the Institut de France. As many people believed at the time of Madame Guzman’s death that Mars was inhabited by intelligent beings, communications with that planet were specifically exempted as not worthy of the challenge and would be established in the immediate future (see also). The title and related paradox refer to the precursor programme to SETI started by Cornell astronomer Frank Drake, named after Princess Ozma whom L Frank Baum channelled by radio to learn of events in the Land of Oz after his first-hand accounts ended. The problem that arises from such a two-way communication with extra-terrestrials is the lack of a frame of reference and thus no means of conveying basic ideas of orientation, right and left, and parity. The other honorarium, to be awarded for the development of a treatment for the most common forms of heart disease, has yet to be given out. Regardless of Madame Guzman’s intent, the accomplishments of Apollo were certainly no mean feat.

Friday, 6 December 2019


Founded by reporter and newspaperman (having previously established a publication in St Louis) Stilton Hutchins in 1877 to advance the views of the Democratic Party, the venerable institution the Washington Post (previously here and here) had issued its first edition on this day. After a series of mergers with competing area gazettes a decade into reporting, Hutchins sold the press to former US Postmaster General, Frank Hatton, and Ohio congressional representative Beriah Wilkins, whom together commissioned US Marine Band Leader John Philips Sousa to compose a march to celebrate the occasion. The eponymous tune (you’ll know it the second you hear it) was also the subject of a dance craze at the end of the nineteenth century.

mambo № 2

Starting out somewhat innocuously but worth staying with it, a trust-worthy music historian called Archie Henderson—by way of Waxy—in collaboration with comedian Adrian Gray enlightens us with short clips of the best-selling singles of each decade, spanning all the way back to fourteen thousand years BC.
I haven’t listened to every representative, superlative song in this thread and am still working through the considerably back catalogue but we really liked the 1950’s Chunky Finchman and his Interrupting Choir performance of “She’s my Baby” overtaking the 1940’s top hit Jöhn Smith’s Britain (is where I’m from) and from the aughts the Wright Brothers and their Ten Feet High Club. Medieval times seem especially lit.  Check out yesteryear’s chart toppers and let us know your favourites.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

suncave parry arc

Via Kottke, we are given a nice lesson on the atmospheric phenomenon of ice crystal halos and the exacting collusion of conditions that must take place in order to be a privileged witness.  I am very much an enthusiast as well for the dazzling Alpine displays of reflection and refraction that are not only confined to colder and am consoled by the seeming penchant of weather formations (and have my camera ready in anticipation) to partake in the Baader-Meinhof syndrome (see also)—the frequency illusion and actually seem to manifest more often once one can name them, which feels very much the case with usual clouds, sundogs and double-rainbows.


Pivoting from a palette inspired by living coral selected for last year, Pantone has dug into its classic catalogue to craft a shade for 2020’s Colour of the Year.
Maybe it’s not such a subtle endorsement for Democrats but we’ll take any signaling we can get. The dependable and serviceable hue was chosen for a range of positive attributes including “calm, confidence and connection.” Though a seemingly standard harmonious cobalt, this formulation is fresh for the coming year, knowing that formerly the designation was different from the lyric of the Magnetic Fields’ “Reno, Dakota”—there’s not an iota of kindness in you / You know you enthrall me and yet you don’t call me / It’s making me blue, Pantone 292. A slightly lighter colour but still solidly on the same wavelength.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019


Though not wholly representative of the reception on the part of peers and the public, the 1913 show at New York City’s Armory which exposed American audiences to the staples of European Modernism for the first time engendered mixed reactions, including the cumulative accession that progresses alphabetically through this new exposure.
The confusion and anger of some was distilled in a regressive-progressive volume, acrostic from Mary Mills and Earl Harvey Lyall that aired its discontent for Cubism and Futurism by the letter.

Q’s for the Queerness we Stand-patters feel
When progressive young Cubies start Art reformation.
They’re strong on Initiative, praise the Square Deal:
“Though the Cubic is best” they aggressively squeal:
“Painting things as you see them is rank deformation!”